Addicted To The High: Women Seem To Be Beating Men At This Thing In Recent Times

Addicted To The High: Women Seem To Be Beating Men At This Thing In Recent Times
Wellness, Health
Mar 2023

For the first time in history, American women have surpassed men, not in pay parity but in binge drinking. A study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has revealed that for the first time women have been found to be heavier drinkers compared to men.

Dr George Koop, director of the institute, conducted this study and said, "In 2021, there has been an uptick in binge drinking, particularly among women."

What Is Binge-Drinking?

Addicted To The High: Women Seem To Be Beating Men At This Thing In Recent Times

Binge drinking, much like binge-watching, refers to consuming a large amount of alcohol at once. In such a case, the concentration of alcohol in the blood rises to 0.08gm per decilitre or maybe higher.

Among adults, this level is achieved when a man drinks five or more drinks, and a woman consumes four or more drinks in less than a couple of hours. This is the standard set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Heavy or binge drinking can increase the risk of alcohol use disorder.

What Did The Study Find?

Addicted To The High: Women Seem To Be Beating Men At This Thing In Recent Times

Dr Koop blamed the 'rebound' on the 'alcohol deprivation effect' during the pandemic. The study also concluded that college women are more likely to binge drink compared to men. He also issued a warning for the spring break that commenced recently.

The study was conducted on men and women in the age group of 12 and 20. About 10.4% of men were found to be binge drinking in the past month, while it was 11.8% of women.

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The findings also raise serious concerns regarding the health of women. Dr Koop said that this finding in the midst of the 'blackout rage gallon' (BORG) craze can be hazardous. BORG refers to youngsters mixing electrolytes, water and vodka (vodka recipes to try) together to create a cocktail that they can consume in large quantities.

Alcohol Deprivation Effect

Addicted To The High: Women Seem To Be Beating Men At This Thing In Recent Times

Dr Koop said it is because of the alcohol deprivation effect that people tend to rebound to drinking after giving it up for some time.

He also cautioned people about the side effects of binge drinking. He said that after hitting a certain level, the alcohol starts having adverse effects on r bodies. Women are also at higher risk for health issues compared to men because of binge drinking.

Dr Koop said that it could lead to a decrease in weight. Blood alcohol levels among women rise sharply compared to men.

The NIAAA study suggested that in 2015 40% of college students were binge drinking every 30 days. The percentage fell in 2019. He has linked it to inflation when the cost of living became higher, and students did not have that much money to binge drink.

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According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is safe for women to drink only one alcoholic beverage a day. The safe amount is two for men. A standard drink is equivalent to a pint of beer (know about female brewers of India), a shot, or a glass of wine.

Since America has about 4,000 alcohol-linked deaths in a year, the recent study does raise concerns for individuals indulging frequently in binge drinking.


The study unfortunately focuses on college women and does not take into account several other things that can drive a person towards drinking. For example, in India most women are social drinkers, it is men we see most often in the house making a peg and enjoying an evening at home with friends. In such a gathering, one would find women working in the kitchen. A good example was the short film 'Juice' starring Shefali Shah.

Another point that this study fail to comprehend was how women worked more than men during the pandemic. They were not working at home or working from home but doing millions of other tasks compared to their male counterparts.

The study might be conducted on American citizens, we cannot overlook the harms of binge drinking. We also need to promote responsible drinking. While it has created a hill out of a mole, there are several factors to be considered before the world start pointing finger at the morality of women. We have always been drinking, but only now do we do it openly and unapologetically.